Interview on Criteo & Gradeup Partnership

The responses have been provided both by Criteo and Gradeup team. 

  • Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director, SEA and India, Criteo
  • Ankit Gautam, Associate Vice President – Brand & Marketing, Gradeup


  1. What are some key differentiators that sets Gradeup apart from competitors? What key products or services are you selling?

Gradeup is one of India’s largest exam preparation destinations, loved by millions of aspirants across the country. Through our website and app, we help more than 1.1 crore registered students to prepare actively for various exams & score better.

At our heart lies the quality of service we provide. It starts right from content, created and delivered by expert faculty & topper turned mentors, structured preparation methodology and service delivery focussed towards success of users. We at Gradeup, also cater to deliver best in class product that takes care of all student preparation needs through – live classes, mock tests, quizzes and study material.

Established in the year 2015, Gradeup is a part of Times Internet. We have established and nurtured highly engaging exam-specific communities of students and mentors for –

  • SSC & Government Jobs
  • Banking & Insurance
  • Teaching eligibility and recruitment exams
  • GATE & Junior Engineer
  • UPSC
  • State level exams
  • Defence
  • NET & post graduate preparation
  • Law
  • MBA
  • JEE
  • NEET
  • Class 8-10
  1. What Business trends in the last 6 months have Gradeup seen in the edtech industry? And what were the critical business challenges?

During the lockdown, there was a sudden increase in demand for online education platforms but a lot of people were still very sceptical about adopting e-learning. Many students were not used to studying online and there were concerns about the quality of study material and education in general.

Though Gradeup has been in the market for a long time, we had to slightly change our strategy to make sure people feel comfortable with the online setup. As the freemium model became a norm, we increased the number of free video classes and test series, and also started short duration courses so that students get a look and feel of our products.

Earlier we had exam-specific courses but in August we shifted to category based course subscriptions. Now students can subscribe to a category, which includes multiple related exams, for the desired duration. This helped them choose a plan based on their requirements and could now prepare for more than one exam with a single subscription.

One interesting trend we noticed was the change in the consumption pattern. Earlier, a lot of students used to replay the recorded classes but now most of them want to attend live classes so they can interact with teachers and other students. The average duration of video view also went up.

Providing high-quality education has always been our core value and we want to make education accessible to all. For that, we have expanded into new exam categories so that no one has to step out from the safety & comfort of their home without compromising with the quality of education.

  1. Which Criteo solutions are most important to Gradeup’s business and why? 

The user acquisition & remarketing solutions are the most important to Gradeup as we have been able to acquire a good volume of new customers and were able to generate sales at scale while maintaining a healthy ROI. 

  1. How do you see Criteo aligning with your long-term business goals? What plans do you have to use Criteo solutions in the future?

We focus a lot on structured preparation focussed on outcomes. In terms of the milestones covered we believe that we have grown over 100% in past six months in terms of enrolments and now cater to 180+ exams as compared to 80+ exams six months back. As the business is online, online users are a natural first choice of user acquisition. And ad-tech is the perfect technology to reach these users. Apart from user acquisition, user retention & engagement are also equally essential, which ad-tech helps deliver best. Hence, Criteo the global technology company powering the world’s marketers with trusted and impactful advertising, who has been a leader in retargeting solutions for over a decade is an important part of our ad-tech strategy.

We look to partner with Criteo not just to re-engage with existing users, which it does so well, but also acquire new users through its unique AI technologies. This will help us reach the desired scale of good quality users.

  1. How do you measure the success of your Criteo campaigns for Gradeup? How has Criteo’s performance contributed to the business?

For us, our customers are the deal-breakers, we believe that when we witness this customer base increase, that is when we can measure our true successes. Hence, with Criteo’s partnership and help, we have increased our revenues from advertising campaigns by 25% within two months of starting to work with them, thereby scaling up the business faster than ever before!

The campaigns have been ROAS (Return on Ad Spent) oriented and have gradually achieved the expected results. Criteo has helped deliver 30% better ROAS as compared to other platforms. This has helped us at Gradeup increase the revenue of ad campaigns.

As per Criteo’s perspective, App Engagement will remain a very important aspect for our campaigns. Apart from ROAS oriented campaigns we will also try to achieve more mid funnel events to drive better engagement among users!

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